Keeping the Fire Alive
A life of worship in view of God’s Mercy
33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!
34 "Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?"
35 "Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?"
36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.
12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship.
Keeping our hearts on fire is Worship
11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor [NIr V: Never let the fire in your heart go out], serving the Lord.
· Being spiritually “on fire” is for every Christian at every stage of the Christian Journey.
The nature of spiritual fire
Natural fire is a phenomenon that occurs when a fuel substance such as wood combines chemically with oxygen and gives out light and heat. The fuel must reach ignition temperature, and then the reaction perpetuates as the heat produced keeps the fuel at ignition temperature.
Spiritual fire is similar. Our lives offered to God (which is worship) are the fuel. God’s Spirit is the oxygen, and God Himself brings us to ignition temperature.
It’s not a working of ourselves up into a spiritual/emotional frenzy.
It is the work of the Spirit. Our part is to offer ourselves in a life of worship to Him. His part is everything else.
The Spiritual fire goes out when we stop offering the fuel of our lives.
Spiritual Fire is directly related to love
10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor[RSV-“be aglow with the Spirit”, Good speed-“on fire with the Spirit”], serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
· Devoting ourselves to each other in brotherly love as an act of worship and honoring one another is like an ignition spark that gets the fire burning.
· There is a self-perpetuating flow: spiritual fire flows out of love for one another; that same fire flows back into more love, which produces more fire.
We can fan spiritual fire into full flame
2 Timothy 1:6
6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
Remember the testimony of your spiritual heritage
2 Timothy 1:3-6
3 I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. 4 Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. 5 I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.
- Paul takes Timothy back to his grandmother, the 1st Christian in Timothy's family history (Acts 14, 16)
- Paul's recalls his own Jewish heritage as the offspring of Abraham
- When we join a community of faith, that church's heritage (almost always birthed in revival) becomes our heritage.